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Terreson Profile
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The Bartender


Saturday night here. Sipping a rum from St Croix and listening to a radio station playing Blues songs. Think maybe the writing urge is coming back following the pac man cancer assualt on the soma. As I have the habit of saying, when I'm short on material there's always my family.

The bartender was my step-father. I don't know much about him. Don't know his birth date. Know he died in '86, about a year after my mother died. His mother was a German immigrant, he grew up in Louisville, he might have been fostered out at a young age. All told he had maybe 7 wives, some few after my mother. He was a short, well built man. About 5' 8". His name was Edward Victor Wheeler. An odd, twisty coincidence as my given name is Victor, being named after my father.

My earliest memories involve Eddie. Maybe I was 3. Back then I had bad, recurring nightmares peopled with snakes, swamps, sharks, and ghosts that would chase me down the street while I was trying to plant gardens between street and sidewalk. I refused my mother's minstrations on those nights, being afraid and distrustful of her. I knew on some infantile, pre-conscious level my mother did not like me, being a reminder of the man, my father, who broke her heart in a bunch of pieces. This long before I finally was told the story about one Vico Patricio Cannito. But Eddie could calm and succor me. He would lie down with me in the middle of the night when the nightmares exploded and I felt safe enough to close my eyes. He was in my life until I was about 14. Not a great father figure. But always kind to me and I never quite got why.

The restaurant and bar business is so hard on husbands, wives, and children. My father was a chef, mother a dinner house waitress, step-father, again, a bartender. Early on I remember waking up to check on the family at maybe 2 or 3 in the morning. To make sure every one was home and safe. Eddie, my mother, and 3 siblings. When my parents were not home I would step out and walk through the neighborhood. Sometimes it was worse when they were home. The fights between two drunk parents could be tremendous. For some reason, don't know why, my siblings stayed in their rooms on those occasions. I didn't, couldn't. It's like I needed to heal these two people I loved. Too much for an 8 year old child to see. One night they were driving home together from a bar. Eddie had been flirting with a waitress. Such deadly decadence and the libido charge in the late night bar scene. My mother took her glass of liquor and smashed his nose. Eddie drove himself to the Emergency Room while mopping his nose and fending off his wife who kept wailing on him.

It was years later when I learned something striking about this man. He had been a Bantam weight boxer and Golden Glove winner. When a bartender he was much sought after, mostly because he was an exquisite bouncer. I watched him, on a bar stoop, with waitresses looking after me when I was just a kid. He was not afraid to take on any disturbance in his bar. He would take on any man, no matter how big and bounce them out of his bar. This was during the Nam years and so many angry men coming to Daytona. Oh and this. Whenever my mother had a lover, before him and after him, he would show up, sometimes late at night, and punch out her suitor. Even after divorced he could not keep away from her.

Now for the twist in my story. Eddie, the most feared bartender/bouncer in Daytona Beach in the 60s was a WW2 vet, afraid of no man. A veteran of the North African theater. And dishoranably discharghed because of cowardice. Man on man he could take.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Mar/8/2014, 10:47 pm
Mar/8/2014, 10:21 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: The Bartender


hi Tere,

It's great to see another of your field notes
and good to know you're getting back in the writing groove. I love reading these field notes and I've missed them.

Best,

Chris
Mar/10/2014, 1:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Bartender


Hey Tere,

It's always a pleasure to read one of your field notes. I'm very please to hear the writing urge is coming back. Yay!
Mar/10/2014, 2:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 


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